Thursday, October 06, 2011


I don' t know that I have any neat tricks that have not already been discussed. I use what I think will help each student the most. I talk about the intro paragraph and thesis as the movie trailer. It provides the gist of the story and enough of a hook to make you want to see the rest. I will grab a dictionary and look stuff up if I'm not positive how to spell something or if it's the correct word. That provides a good example of using resources. I use the purple punctuation pattern papers in almost every session. Once I point out a comma error pattern, I'll pull out one of those sheets to explain the ways to use commas and give a copy of that sheet to the student to take for reference.

The best thing I think I do for students is to help them see the reason why we do things a certain way in academic writing. When I explain that a nonessential clause/phrase/word is offset with commas as an indicator to the reader that it is not the main subject or verb of the sentence, students get a little aha moment. When I explained today the reason why a ENG 2010 professor required this student to complete an annotated bibliography, and how it would benefit her later to have some notes on each article she collected, she seemed to change her attitude towards the assignment and stated that she saw how that would be helpful.

The main thing I've learned is to be flexible and open to the needs of this student and this paper. I try to not have preconceived notions of what a student will need help with before I have talked to them and read the paper. It would be very easy to decide that all students need help with comma usage, but looking too hard for comma usage could obscure the bigger picture of organization and thesis development.


Post a Comment

<< Home